England coach defends decision to bowl, saying: 'We tried to make an aggressive play'

Did England make the wrong decision at the toss in the second Test by making New Zealand bat first? The bowling coach has explained the thinking behind it.

England bowling coach Jon Lewis defended the decision to bowl first despite New Zealand taking full control of the second Test on day one.

Ben Stokes won the toss put elected to put the tourists into bat on the opening morning at Trent Bridge, a decision that many thought looked to be wrong from the off.

New Zealand proved those detractors to be correct as they produced a fine 318 for four by the close of play.

It leaves England with it all to do to avoid being batted out of the game, but Lewis believes there was merit in the decision to bowl.

"The most important thing about the decision at the toss is that it was the aggressive play," Lewis said.

"We were coming out to bowl New Zealand out. We put them into bat and tried to make an aggressive play after (winning) last week. Unfortunately we missed a couple of chances but that's cricket.

"You can always bowl a slightly different length. But we are choosing, at the moment, to take the aggressive option and be courageous in what we do.

"At times in games, with bat or ball, you'll see times where it doesn't go our way but I liked the areas the guys bowled.

England captain Ben Stokes in the second Test against New Zealand

"It was a really honest day's work. I thought there was threat all day, the boys went past the bat and caught the edge of the bat.

"We could have easily bowled them out for 250 and be sat now in a very different position."

New Zealand batter Devon Conway said they probably would have taken the same decision England did, but they decided to meet aggression with aggression and it paid dividends for them.

"We set about trying to be more aggressive and have that positive mindset with intent to score," he said.

"That was something we lacked at times in the first Test and we are reaping those rewards after day one. It looked a bit green on top this morning so we would have probably bowled first too, but it was not thinking too much about the surface.

"They bowled quite full and asked questions of us, but that provided us with scoring opportunities."

READ MORE: Have Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum brought the fun back to English Test cricket?

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